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Statements of Foreign Minister S. Lambrinidis and Foreign Minister of Lebanon A. Mansour (14.10.2011)
A. MANSOUR: ...
S. LAMBRINIDIS: I would like to thank His Excellency, the Foreign Minister of Lebanon, Adnan, for his warm hospitality in this visit and the very substantial discussions we had and that will continue over lunch as well. It is always, dear friends, a great pleasure to be given the opportunity to visit the beautiful and historic city of Beirut, which has over the years witnessed more than its fair share of turbulence. Nevertheless, time and again, the Lebanese people have displayed their resilience and determination to heal wounds and to move ahead. Greece has consistently and actively supported Lebanon, including during the 2006 hostilities, as Adnan, I am sure you know, both politically and economically.
And I am here not just as a Greek Foreign Minister but also as a Foreign Minister of the European Union, to be able to communicate to my counterparts in the European Union the tremendous importance of establishing future beneficial partnership between the EU and Lebanon. During our talks we discussed the situation in the Middle East and we expressed our shared desire for a Palestinian state, as soon as possible. Many, many years have passed and this is not tolerable. We want a Palestinian state and we also want there to be peace and security for Israel and for the whole region.
We have had remarkable changes as you know, in my own country as well, in Greece. These changes in Greece, in Europe are changes that will bring Greece and Europe out of a difficult economic situation and make us stronger. It is this strength and this confidence that is evident in Lebanon today. We want to be able to invest in the future of Lebanon. We want to talk with Lebanon as a friend and an ally, to invest and to support us. This is a region in which we have lived together for centuries. These are peoples that have traditionally historic extremely strong ties. And I am here to get the message across, Adnan, that we, you and I are going to make these ties stronger.
S. LAMBRINIDIS: As you know our President in Greece, has also invited your President to visit and we hope that this will happen soon.
S. LAMBRINIDIS: We have expressed our mutual desire and interest to get business people together. Neither your Minister nor I are businessmen but we can open up the door to businessmen and businesswomen, to know what their interests are, to talk to each other. And this is why I have come here to Lebanon today, both with a high level delegation of representatives of all the major industry and export associations of Greece, and we are here as well today with a number of members of the Greek Parliament of different political parties. We want this relationship to be deeper and I am committed to it and I will continue to work toward this direction.
Thank you very much.